James Paul Burns, 37, faces misdemeanor counts of second-degree stalking and battery in connection with an incident Saturday in which he allegedly followed a woman he did not know through the Eagle WinCo and grabbed her as she tried to leave the store.
Burns is accused of following the woman throughout the store, then telling her she looked like she needed a hug and grabbing her. The woman broke free and went to a nearby store, the Ada County Sheriff's Office reported Thursday. Eagle deputies arrived a short time later, but the assailant was gone.
Detectives identified Burns as a suspect after reviewing surveillance video from the store and consulting with other law enforcement agencies. On Thursday morning, detectives searched Burns’ home in the Fairview Avenue/Locust Grove Road neighborhood. They found a baseball cap and T-shirt that matched what the assailant was wearing in Winco Saturday, the sheriff's office reports.
ACSO also arrested Burns on charges of resisting arrest, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia after deputies found pot and smoking pipes inside his home while they were serving a warrant looking for evidence in connection with Saturday’s stalking incident. Burns is charged with resisting arrest because he tried to hide behind a door when deputies showed up to serve the warrant, ACSO reports.
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The crimes of second-degree stalking and resisting arrest are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The misdemeanor counts of marijuana and paraphernalia possession are punishable by up to six months in prison.
The sheriff's office asks anyone with information about Burns and the crimes to call Eagle detectives at 577-3744.